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Sunday Falcon Watch - 1/15/17

January 16th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was a mostly cloudy day.  Not very good lighting for taking pictures.  But it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t snowing.  It was a very nice winter day.

My good friend and fellow watcher Kathy O and I decided to go out and look for falcons.  Our first stop was the Brighton Site (BS).  It had been over a week since I had seen the female there.  We circled the building twice, but could not find her.  It was time to check out the other tall buildings in the area.  While Kathy drove, I was able to look for a falcon.  There was a small blip on a corner of a building.  I quickly checked it out with my binoculars.  PEFA!  We have a falcon!

We found a spot to park near the building, which turned out to be the DSS bldg.  Based on size it was a female and I could not see any bands.  Could this be our BS female?  We weren’t that far from that bldg.


About 15 minutes after we arrived, she took off and flew up to one of the windows on the south side of the building, knocking another bird off.  The chase was on!  This wasn’t a pigeon, it was another, smaller Peregrine Falcon!  She chased it off and then they both returned.  The smaller male landed on top of the building and the female landed on a level below.

6-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-175-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-178-female-on-dss-bldg-1-15-17<— Female Peregrine Falcon

7-male-on-dss-bldg-1-15-17<— Male Peregrine Falcon

First the male, then the female took off, hunting over the buildings to the south.  Neither returned to the DSS Bldg.

Jeanne joined us on the watch and we headed back over to the BS location to see if they had gone there.  No luck finding them there either.  I was not able to see any bands on either falcon in any of the pictures I took, so I’m not sure if they were banded or not.

This is the only picture I was able to get of the female when she flew over us.


We said goodbye to Jeanne and headed downtown where we joined Joyce.  Both Beauty and Dot.ca were on the Frontier Communication Tower’s southeast box.


We had to end our watch.  It was time to join Lisa and Dana.  We went out to Avon to see if we could find the Short-eared Owls.  We parked near a field and watched two Harriers skimming the tall grass.  Every now and then one would drop down to the ground hunting.  Just after dark, two, maybe three, SE Owls appeared, flying over a farmers field.  They were chasing each other playfully.  Love seeing these winter visitors!

Falcon Watch 1-16-16

January 16th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was a bright, sunny day with a temperature of  41 (F) 5 (C)

I started my watch this morning around 10:30am with no falcons at Seneca Towers (ST). When I arrived downtown, I found Dot.ca (DC) in the OCSR elevator shaft on the south side ledge.


I left him quickly as I wanted to check for Beauty before heading over to Brighton to walk Bella and check for falcons at the Brighton site (BS). I found the Beautyful one under the northeast wing of the Times Square building (TSB).

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On my way over to BS, I came upon the Red-tailed Hawk (RTH) I saw the other day on a pole near the Ford St. bridge while I was waiting for the traffic light.


After finding no PEFA’s at BS and walking my buddy Bella, I spotted the RTH again on a different pole this time.

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It was noon by the time I got back downtown. I spotted Beauty on the Mercury Money Bag (MMB) where she was preening and looking around the river and surrounding area.

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After a while, I left the hole to check the elevator shaft for DC but he was gone. From the Andrews St. bridge I spotted him over on the Frontier Communications tower (FCT). I drove over to Fitzhugh St. in front of City Hall for a closer look at him.

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DC was preening and stretching as I drove around and parked near the Open Door Mission for a different angle on him.

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I left him to it as I went  to run a couple errands on East Ridge Rd. To my surprise I saw a falcon on the glass peaked roof at the Medley Center Mall in Irondequoit. I immediately thought of Big Frankie as this used to be her hunting place. Unfortunately, it wasn’t her but I believe it was Billie from ST. She had a black over green leg band on her left leg and a silver band on the right leg. I didn’t get a clear enough shot to see the numbers/letters on the band but it sure did look like her to me.

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She took off to the west and I left to finish my errands.

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I then spotted her on a light pole over by the Target store but couldn’t stay as I was running behind-she flew off going really low around the northwest corner of the mall and I didn’t see her when I was leaving. I finally got home around 3:15pm and was happy to see who I believe was Seth on the northwest corner of Seneca Towers. I stopped at the Northridge Church where I first saw him but his back was to me so I went to my spot on Seth Green Dr. He was just hanging out all scrunched down looking around his territory.

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I ended my watch smiling as I always do after seeing Rochester’s Peregrine Falcons! :)

Click on the links below to see today’s videos



Saturday Morning Falcon Watch - 1/14/17

January 14th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was 25 degrees and cloudy during my Saturday Morning Falcon Watch.  Today I wanted to check out all the local falcon locations, starting at the Brighton Site (BS).

Brighton Site (BS) - No Falcons found.  There were some crows hanging out and groups of pigeons were flying nearby.  Very quiet there.

Downtown Rochester - It didn’t take me long to find Beauty and Dot.ca.  Both were on the old City Hall’s Widows Walk.  Beauty was eating on the NW corner.  Looked like pigeon was on the menu.  Dot.ca was watching from the west side railing.  He was very patient, waiting for Beauty to fill her crop before moving in to take a share of her meal.  They chatted softly for a few seconds and then he took a small piece of the prey.



Here’s a short video snippet showing Beauty and Dot.ca sharing a meal.  Just click on this YouTube link.


After a few bites, Dot.ca took off with his food heading north.

Beauty continued to eat for a few moments and then took off leaving her leftovers.  She headed in the same direction as Dot.ca.


From Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”), I found Beauty on the OCSR, 2nd Ibeam down, west corner.  Now to find Dot.ca.

It wasn’t too hard.  I would recognize that tail anywhere.  lol


Dot.ca was on the northeast corner of the Ellwanger and Barry Bldg.  At first, I could only see his tail.  He then turned around and peaked over the top of the roof.  He and Beauty could easily see each other.


It took him about a 1/2 hour to finish his meal.  Afterwards, he took off flying towards the OCSR, joining Beauty there.  He was on the Ibeam above her on the north corner.



I left them, both with full crops, to continue my watch.

Seneca Towers (ST) - Both Billie and Seth were home.  From across the river, I could see them close to each other on the west side railing.


Charlotte/Summerville - My last stop.  It was really hard for me to check out this area, but I hoped to catch a glimpse of Genesee’s red taped mate.  Too many memories there.  Sadly, I did not see her today.  I hope she’s safe and doing well on her own.

I was happy to end my watch after seeing our two resident pairs.  All was peaceful and quiet.  Just how I like it.

A fun Falcon Watch 1-11-16

January 11th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was breezy, partly cloudy and warm with a balmy, starting temperature of 45 (F) 7 (C)

Seneca Towers has been getting heavy vents and supplies placed on the roof by a huge crane the past few days so Billie and Seth have not been around lately.

Click on the pics to see the full version


After no success at finding them I left for downtown and from the Andrews St. bridge (ASB) I spotted who, I think was Dot.ca (DC) on the northeast corner of City Place. By the time I got over there he was gone.


As I was turning onto State St. I spotted Beauty flying west from over the Holiday Inn, State St.  and the Sister Cities Parking Garage. I lost her and when I stopped I spotted DC over on the north corner top I-beam of OCSR. After a few minutes he flew off right over me and took the same route as the Beautyful one.

img_0015-dc img_0021-dc img_0022-dc-takes-off1

I drove around and around looking for them but never did find them. I stopped on the Court St. bridge to check life down in the river and found that the east side bank was being landscaped by a couple earth movers. There were gulls flying and hanging out on a frozen part of the river below.

move-it river-life<Click

I left and checked the Brighton site with no luck. However, on the way over I watched a Red-tail Hawk land on a light pole. It was in hunt mode as it kept watching for rodents below it. He dove down and came back up with a talon full of grass and a mouse. He proceeded to another pole to eat his lunch and I might add, made quick work of it in a minute or so.

img_0027-rth img_0029-rth img_0032-going-for-lunch<Click

img_0040-rth img_0042-yum

I returned to downtown a while later and again from the ASB I spotted both Beauty and DC side by side on the northeast corner of City Place. And once again when I got there they were gone. You gotta love falcon games. I suspect there was food on the roof and they were jumping down to it out of my sight.  I headed home and as I was driving down Norton St. I watched a Merlin land on a power pole. Merlins are also falcons, a bit larger than an American Kestrel, (also a falcon) and smaller than Peregrines. I knew it was a falcon by the way it flew and the shape of its wings.

img_0063-merlin img_0070-norton img_0071-norton img_0073-merlin

This Merlin was in hunt mode as he looked in every direction. He pooped a couple times and stretched his wings while I shared space with him. I haven’t seen very many Merlins in my travels so I watched him for a bit until I had to move my car. When I looked again it was gone!

img_0074-merelin<Clickimg_0082-merlin stretch

When I got home at 3:30pm there was no crane and no falcons. I ended my watch smiling after a fun little watch! :)

Click on the links below to see today’s videos



Saturday Falcon Watch - 1/7/17

January 11th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

My Saturday falcon watch started out very happy and ended on a very sad note.  It was my intention to do my normal Rochester Falcon headcount last weekend.  I was very happy to find four  of our falcons, Billie or Seth (I couldn’t tell which one) at ST, Beauty and Dot.ca downtown and who I believe was our unbanded female at the BS location.  It was very quiet and peaceful in all those locations.

1-billie-or-seth-at-st-1-7-17<— Billie or Seth at Seneca Towers (ST)

2-beauty-on-cross-rds-1-7-17<— Beauty on Cross Rds. (Downtown Rochester)

3-dc-in-ocsr-elevator-shaft-1-7-17<— Dot.ca in the OCSR elevator shaft. (Downtown Rochester)

5-beauty-on-tsb-1-7-17<— Beauty on the Times Square Bldg’s NE wing ledge. (Downtown Rochester)

4-bs-gal-1-7-17<— I believe this is the unbanded female at the BS location. (Brighton Site)

I started my watch in the Charlotte/Summerville area, checking both sides of the river.  That’s where I always started my falcon watches since we had been seeing Genesee there.  Hoping to see him and his mate.  Sadly we lost him that day.

I have seen many sad things during the years I have been a Rochester Falcon Watcher.  Things I have never spoken to anyone about.  But, there are so many moments of joy while watching these beautiful creatures.  I can’t imagine a world without them.

Fly Free beautiful Genesee.  I will miss you so much. <3


Short but sweet Falcon Watch 1-9-16

January 9th, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was 20 (F) -7 (C) degrees with a few snowflakes  in the air under an overcast sky

I dedicate this Peregrine Falcon Watch report to the late, great Genesee-son of Beauty and Dot.ca from the year 2015

genesee-hi img_0027-aint-i-just-too-cute genesee

img_0061-you-lookin-at-me img_0074-genesee b-bye-genesee

I didn’t see Billie or Seth at Seneca Towers when I left home this morning around 8am. After an early appointment and running some errands I made my way downtown to check on our falcons. My first stop was the Andrews St. bridge where I spotted Dot.ca (DC) on the northeast corner of the Crossroads building with his back to me. Right across from him on the top I-beam northwest side of OCSR Beauty was perched and she too, had her back to me.

img_0002-dc-from-asb img_0003-beauty-from-asb

I then drove over to State St. across from the Holiday Inn for a closer view of them albeit was just a side view. They both were alert, looking around their falcon world.

Please click on any pics to see a full version of them

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DC pooped a couple times and after the second one he quickly jumped down off the edge and turned around as the Beautyful one came flying in and knocked him off the building. He flew off around the north end of OCSR and disappeared to the east side where I figured he went up in the elevator shaft. Beauty started nibbling on some leftovers that were up there on the Crossroads roof.

buzz-off-beauty oooo-scary img_0038-make-room-for-mama beauty-eating

There wasn’t much more than a few bites left as Beauty stopped eating a couple minutes later. At that point I drove over to Bragdon Place by the north end of the Radisson Hotel where I did in fact, find DC on the south side ledge of the OCSR elevator shaft. I could also see Beauty from there as she remained perched on Crossroads.

img_0048-bdc<Clickimg_0050-dc img_0051-beauty

I left them as they were to go check the Brighton Site (BS) and to walk Bella. No falcons in sight there and when I returned to downtown Beauty was nowhere to be found and DC was back on the northeast corner of Crossroads.


I called it a watch and headed home, but still there was no sign of Billie or Seth when I got there. I ended my watch at 3pm smiling after seeing our downtown pair doing well! :)

Click on the links below to see today’s videos



Happy New Year Watchers Toast - Falcon Watch - 1/1/17

January 1st, 2017

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Today at 11:00 am, the Rochester Falcon Watchers gathered on Broad St in front of the Blue Cross Arena (Rochester War Memorial) for our annual toast to the Rochester Falcons.  Watchers included Dan, Kathy O, Lisa McK, Jeanne, Shaky, Carrie, Lynda, Tim, Larry (with Zeke), MAK (with Bella), Joyce, Pat (with her falcon puppet friend) and me, Carol P.  Missing today were Brian H, Dana and Lou, who were unable to make it but were there in spirit.

We were all very thankful for a successful 2016 falcon season with four successful fledges, Matilda, Aria, Lilac and Leo.  Our toast was to a success 2017 for our Rochester Falcons, Beauty, Dot.ca, Billie and Seth!  We also hoped to see more of our young falcons in the coming years.  Seeing Genesee was such a treat!

Before the toast, I was able to find both Beauty and Dot.ca on the Ellwanger and Barry Bldg.  By the time I was able to get a closer look, they were both gone.


Here are some pictures from this year’s Watchers Toast.





Here’s one taken by our Rfalconcam cameras from the nest box on the Times Square Bldg.  Shaky was there to make sure that the rest of our falcon fans around the world could watch our toast to the falcons.


After the toast was over and everyone left, I drove around downtown before heading home.  I found both Beauty and Dot.ca on the OCSR.  Dot.ca was inside the elevator shaft and Beauty was on the top Ibeam on the north side.  I also ran into my friend and fellow watcher Kelly.  It was so nice to see her!  :)


While Kelly and I were chatting, Beauty took off and landed on the Time Square Bldg on the ledge under the southeast wing.


It was wonderful seeing all those that gathered for the toast today and Beauty & Dot.ca.  Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday Morning Falcon Watch - December 27, 2016

December 27th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Here we are.  Christmas is done and 2016 is coming to an end.  I wanted to get out today to check on our falcons. To do a headcount.

After a high of 50 degrees at midnight, it was 36 degrees during my watch.  Most of the snow that had accumulated over the past few weeks was all but gone.

After checking Charlotte/Summerville, Seneca Towers and Hawkeye, with no falcons found, I headed downtown.  It didn’t take me long to find both Beauty and Dot.ca side-by-side on the south side of OCSR on the top Ibeam.


I kept watch from Aqueduct St, aka “the hole”.  There wasn’t much traffic downtown due to the holidays, so it was easy to find a place to park.  The neighborhood pigeons came to visit and I gave them some of the seed I always carry with me in my car.  They were very appreciative!  :)


Beauty and Dot.ca were settled in, so I drove over to the Brighton Site (BS).  I found a falcon on the east side tree ledge.  She never turned around the whole time I was there, so I can only assume that it was our unbanded female.


I stayed there for awhile hoping to get an identification.  No luck.

Back downtown, I parked on the Court St Bridge.  Beauty and Dot.ca were still where I had left them, on the south side of OCSR.


While I was there, Beauty took off on a hunt, chasing the pigeons down the river.  She returned, empty-taloned, landing next to Dot.ca.  Soon after that a Coopers Hawk flew through the area, again scaring the pigeons that had just settled down.  Both Beauty and Dot.ca ignored the hawk.

They were working on the Blue Cross Arena sign, removing the big “C” and replacing it.


I wanted to check out the pedestrian bridge at High Falls.  It had been awhile since I had visited.  There was a lot of water flowing over the falls and into the gorge from the melting snow.


The unique brewery Christmas Tree was on display.


There was a little bit of damage to the ”G” on the Genesee Brewery sign.  Probably caused by the high winds we had last night.


On my way home, I again drove through Charlotte.  There was a juvie Red-tailed Hawk hunting near the Charlotte Lighthouse.


Abbotts is closed for the season, but spring will be here before we know it.  Ice Cream anyone?  :)


I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas with family and friends.

Christmas Morning Watch 12-25-16

December 25th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was overcast with light misty rain at times and a temperature of 37 (F) 3 (C) degrees

Merry Christmas from our Rochester Peregrine Falcons and myself!

I started my watch about 10 minutes before sunrise at Seneca Towers (ST) but nobody was home so I drove to downtown. From the hole (Aqueduct St.) I spotted both Beauty and Dot,ca (DC) on the top I-beam southeast side of OCSR. She was near the south corner and he was at the other end nearer to the elevator shaft eating. There were white down feathers all along the ledge surrounding him.

img_0006-dc-eating img_0011-hello-beautyful

When I wasn’t paying attention they both left OCSR and flew over to the Mercury statue. I watched DC land on the money bag (MMB) while she was already on the base eating what I assume were cached leftovers as she didn’t spend much time chowing down.

Make sure to click on pics to see full version

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DC was quite content to watch the Beautyful one from above with his very full crop. She soon went out of view before I realized she had flown off back over to OCSR on the same spot she had been earlier.

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img_0027-b img_0029-beauty img_0032-b<Beauty

Beauty didn’t stay there for long when she left and flew to the MMB to replace DC who had flown over to the Times Square building (TSB) under the southeast wing.

img_0071-b img_0072-b<Beauty DC>img_0076-dc img_0077-dc

Beauty was on the hunt as she flew off to chase pigeons over the river near the Blue Cross Arena. She was unsuccessful and returned to the MMB as DC kept an eye on her.

img_0081-dc img_0083-dc img_0088-beauty img_0092-beauty

I decided to check out the Genesee River scene from the Court St. bridge. Gulls were flying and ducks were swimming as I taped a couple videos of them. Beauty could be seen still on Mercury and DC on TSB from there as I left them to check the Brighton site (BS).

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I had no luck finding our visiting winter falcon friend but on the way over I saw a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk land on a South Avenue light pole.


I was unable to find any falcons in Charlotte/Summerville or Irondequoit today. When I got home to ST I found only Billie on the south end top window ledge with a full crop too! She was busy looking over her surroundings perhaps waiting for Seth to show up as I was.

img_0115-hello img_0119-billie img_0122-buffalo-billie img_0128-billie

Seth never joined us so I ended my watch at 11am and left Buffalo Billie to relax and digest her BIG Christmas breakfast. So glad to have seen falcons this morning-no other gift makes me smile more! :)

Click on the links below to see today’s videos






A Christmas Eve Morning Falcon Watch - 12/24/16

December 24th, 2016

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

My Christmas Eve morning watch started out with temps in the low 40’s and light rain.  The sun never did make an appearance while I was out.

I started my watch at the Charlotte/Summerville area, hoping to find Genesee or maybe a Snowy Owl.  No luck seeing either of them.  The Port of Rochester Pigeons were relaxed and the ducks were sleeping.  All was quiet here.


Nearby there was a Christmas Tree with a star at the top of it.


At Seneca Towers I found both Billie and Seth at home.  Billie was on the north end window ledge and Seth was on the northwest corner.


As I drove towards downtown Rochester, I checked out the old Hawkeye plant.  I could not see any falcons there.

Downtown, I found both Beauty and Dot.ca on the OCSR.  Dot.ca was inside the elevator shaft on the south side ledge and Beauty was on the north side top IBeam.



My last stop was the Brighton Site (BS).  I didn’t trust the driveway due to snow/ice, so I headed over to the next street where I had a good view of the east side of the building.  I found a falcon on the tree ledge.  I was too far away to get a good look, but I’m pretty sure it was the unbanded female we have been seeing there.


All was peaceful and quiet.


I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!  Here are some beautiful Christmas lights I’ve seen over the past few days.  Enjoy!


Even the downtown buildings are very festive!


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